Archive for the ‘walking’ Category

Weekly news round-up, the slightly late edition

So yeah, it’s been a few weeks. First I had an eye infection, complete with an ulcerated cornea, which meant absolutely no screen time. Then I went away to GNEW and was busy taking down my pavilion and driving home, so there was no posting. I meant to do it Monday, but I woke up with a migraine and, well. Yeah. So it’s been a while.


Today, I am the only one at Creatives. It’s a rainy day, and I’m enjoying the Acoustic Covers playlist on Sp0tify, and reveling in the fact that I don’t have a migraine. I have a chai latte with almond milk, an iced raspberry green tea, and, for the first time in a LONG time, a workable plot for Advent this year! YAY!


You guys, you have no idea how happy I am to have a plot. Carter’s Cove is easily my most popular story, but it’s HARD to write. Plot-wise, anyways. Because see, bodies and violence and save the world are easy to plot. It’s the fluffy, feel-good but not be total sugar because that’s boring stuff that is hard.


I’m also going back on a mini-reset this week – doing a Whole10 with my Facebook group. I need to get back on the wagon, and this seems the best way to do it. Also, I’m adding in a fitness goal, because I want to get my stamina up. Also, I need to get more Pokemon. Because, well, Pokemon won’t walk themselves.


Since I haven’t been posting, I’m going to just start my goals over.


Oh, and I finished Hope Never Dies and I have to write a review. Mini review: I loved it. I also saw Ant Man and the Wasp yesterday. Go see it – it’s fun.


Morning Pages: Going for all 7 days, per normal.

Non-writing goals: 1 more coif made for Her Highness for Pennsic. I want to do 2 more if I can, but the goal is 1. Also, 2+ hours on Conri’s trim. I’ve got 1 cuff for that done, and need 1 more cuff, the neckline, 2 sides, and the hem.

Writing goals: Plot out Advent this week. I can do this long-hand.

Fitness goals: Make my step goal (currently 3500 steps per day) all 7 days.

(writing/personal) Pokemon Go!


Yes, I’ve gotta catch them all too. It’s fun, and I need some fun in my life. Besides, it’s something hubby and I can do together. And it’s good for us. I’m Team Yellow (aka Instinct) and if you want to find me, I’m CassieHobbes.


I’m also recommitting to writing (again). I’ve discovered that it’s just something that I need to regularly recommit to. So I’ll be in my writing studio, and hopefully I won’t get distracted by the Pokemon wandering around outside. (It’s so hard though!)


I’m starting to work on the rewrite of the second Advent story, now titled Winter’s Storm. And I’m outlining the sixth (!) Advent story for this year. This year, it’s going to be pretty interactive, so keep an eye out on the blog! And we’ve got the e-book and audio book of Winter’s Secrets that are coming! So much stuff!


Which is, of course, why my brain is suggesting a bizarre post-apocalyptic story. *headdesk*

(health) Making better choices


I love this picture. I love the feel of the greenery, of the moving water, of the sheer potential it represents. To me, running water and the outdoors is happiness.


I haven’t been able to do much in the outdoors over the past couple of years, due to a lot of weight gain, injuries (in large part due to that weight gain) and illness. For someone who grew up outside (and yes, I loved the outside when I was younger, although I admit I usually was curled up someplace in it reading), this has been a hard couple of years, and I’m almost positive that being inside and not able to hike and swim and walk the way I want to has contributed to my depression.


In August 2015, I finally admitted I needed real help. Not just nutritionally, but a coach who would administer the tough love and unconditional support I needed to get my life healthy again. I was lucky enough to find that in my friend Shannon, who is a coach for Herbalife. If you’ve ever met me, you know I LOVE food. Like, seriously, LOVE food. The taste, the smell, the mouthfeel – yeah, I’m a bonafide foodie, and for years, I was resistant to having anything to do with meal replacement shakes. Of course, it didn’t help that the ones on the commercial market like Ensure and Boost are full of chemicals and SMELL like chemicals as soon as you open the bottle. So I was skeptical.


Trust me, I’m not trying to sell anyone anything. For one thing, I know that my path isn’t everyone’s. We’re all different. But let me tell you, without Shannon, I wouldn’t be doing as well as I am. I’m walking again. I’m down nearly 30 lbs since August. And the shakes – well, to be perfectly honest, they’re amazing. I love them. (And no, it has nothing to do with the fact that I can have cookies and cream cheesecake for breakfast. Okay, well, maybe a little.) And the best part? It doesn’t smell chemically. When I open my vanilla protein powder, it smells like vanilla. My hubby and roomie loved the waffles I made with them (reminder to self, make more waffles.).


For another thing? It’s not cheap. Now, granted, in the long run, it’s cheaper than eating fast food all the time, and it’s cheaper than medical bills. But it does require some outlay of cash.


But for me, it’s been worth it. If you are interested in talking to my coach, you can hit Shannon up – her husband Tom is a coach as well, if you want a guy instead. I can personally vouch for both of them – they’re amazing, and I’m lucky to have them in my life. Because of them, I’m looking forward to hiking this summer, and maybe, just maybe, getting my bike out again.



(personal/writing) Blowing off the winter dust

You know, it’s been a LONG winter.  Maybe not GRRM long, but longer than I wanted.  Much longer than I wanted.


But it’s finally warm out.  The snow is gone and there is music in the morning when I go out.  I’m still adjusting to my work schedule, but it’s getting easier.  I’m not fighting it as much.  Now, of course, I have allergies, but I’ll take allergies over snow pants, seriously.


I’m still sort of on crutches, although I’m not using them very much.  I go back to the doctor’s on the 30th, and hopefully they’ll finally give me the go-ahead to stop using them fully.  I’m walking on May 5 in a charity walk, for MS research, and I will be damned if I do it on crutches!  But hey, if I have to, I have to.


Writing is going good – I’m working on the rough draft for Deep Waters, the 2nd Pendragon Casefiles novella.  The first one, Into Thin Air, is on schedule to be released at Balticon, and I’m hoping to have copies soon for reviewers.  Want to review it?   Drop me a line at val at and let me know!


I’m also working on FaeryTale Princess again.  I’m really liking this story, and my writer’s group is intrigued.  Also, at this point, the hero is kind of an ass.  Which is fun to write.  Don’t worry, he won’t always be.  It’s sort of a romance, after all!


I’ll have cards for my proofreading business and swag from Lake Knight Paranormal (the ghost hunting group in Pendragon) at Balticon.  I might even read from the first novella!


So yeah, life is looking up.  I find it usually does in the spring.  I just wish it wouldn’t take so darn long to get here.

(health/food/personal) A new week, and more food!

Happy Monday, folks!  I think I’ve FINALLY got this cold on the run – I actually took Saturday off and RESTED.  Well, I wrote, but I could do that from the couch.  Sunday I felt so much better!  Ate real food, did chores, and wrote.


This is going to be a good food week.  I’m finally able to take all my meds and supplements.  I’m able to eat and taste my food (I hate that about being sick).  And I have such good food to eat!


Sunday Mom, Lily and I went to the Nottingham Orchard, where we got a bag of lovely little Cortland apples and a 1/2 gallon of fresh cider.  Then we went to the farmer’s market in Nottingham, where I got hickory-smoked honey, a head of hickory-smoked garlic, fresh dried beans, fresh pears (Seckels, Patterns and Lucious), some heirloom apples to try, another jar of leaf lard (FINALLY!) and a big beef soup bone.  Picked up eggs on the way home, so I can have some baked goods that I can eat.  So here’s the menu for dinner this week:

Monday – homemade baked beans and pork chops

Tuesday – roasted winter squash stuffed with broccoli-cheese sausage stuffing

Wednesday – eggplant pizzas

Thursday – salmon with roasted potatoes and roasted broccoli

Friday – Teriakyi chicken thighs, garlic green beans and sweet potato fries


We’re doing exercise this week too, once again.  Swimming Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  My knees are complaining, because I’m carrying too much weight on them, so I need to start slow.  I’ll be walking every day at work for my lunch break.  I am NOT being this heavy come the spring.  Hell, I’m not being this heavy come Christmas!


Don’t you wish you lived at my house?

(health) Thoughts on stress

I’m under a lot of stress at the moment.  I’ll be honest – it’s mostly self-inflicted.  I’m autocratting (running, for those not familiar with SCA terms) a fairly large event Labor Day weekend called Harper’s Retreat, and the week before the event is always nerve-racking to me.  There’s SO much that needs to be done, and of course, my mind is racing as to what can possibly go wrong.  Weeks like this are when everything healthy I’m trying to do usually breaks down, and I end up eating fast food and barely sleeping.


Not this time.  I know this week is going to be hard, but I’m preparing ahead so that I don’t have to worry about what I’m eating, at least.  There is a beef stew prepped and in the fridge, all ready to be popped into the crockpot this morning.  It’s already in the crock insert, so all I need to do is add water, put it in the outer portion of the pot, and turn it on.  Dinner for Brian and I for the next two days.  We bought a lovely heirloom rye bread at the farmer’s market on Saturday, and some goat cheese with blueberries and pecans.  Yesterday, we bought apples and peppers at the local orchard, and honey ham from the grocery store.   My lunch and snacks are packed into bento boxes and ready to be popped into my lunch box.  All I need to do is make breakfast, and then go.


I’m going to continue to walk on lunch this week – I don’t think I’ll try and squeeze in gym time, because I don’t need one more stressor.  Part of my plan is to make sure I’m moving all week, so that I can work off some of the nervous energy.  And prepping my medications/lunch/dinner the night before (I’m only working Monday through Wednesday, luckily) to make sure that I get everything I need done.  I’ve got a checklist of what needs to be done for Harpers, and I know I’ll get it all done.  It’s just a matter of working through it.  And not losing my mind in the process.


I met with my nutritionist on Saturday, and got some new ideas (like finally using my bentos!) for adding protein to my midday snacks.  I’m falling back to grazing, which isn’t good for my waistline.  So I’ll be doing things like apple slices with peanut butter, lunch meat and fruit or apple sauce, maybe some of the rye bread with the goat cheese.  Cucumbers and pepper slices with cream cheese (although she wants me to cut down on the dairy).  Things like that.


Oh, I put new batteries in my scale.  Expect a weigh-in on Wednesday.


I’m just going to take it one day at a time.  That’s the way to do it.  One day at a time.

(health/personal) Yep, it’s Monday again.

I don’t know what it is this year, but lord, have my allergies been doing a number on me!  I’m hoping that the healthy turn I’m taking with my life will keep them in line, but I don’t know.  I even resorted to Benadryl last night, just so my nose would unclog enough to sleep.


Made some very healthy changes this weekend – we got a new bed!  We’ve been sleeping on a 20+ year old full size coil mattress, so we finally decided to upgrade to a Bobopedic Queen-Sized Memory Foam mattress.  Oh.  My.  God.  I LOVE it!  My body doesn’t hurt anymore when I sleep!  (I have fibromyalgia in addition to my other health issues, so sleeping and not hurting is a definite win for me.)  Neither does Argus’ back, which is awesome.  I think more (and better) sleep will help my energy levels come back up.


Of course, I’m on a downward slide right now anyways, because I have a Remicade treatment on Wednesday, and the week before a treatment is kind of my nadir.  I get very achy, very tired and (to be honest) very whiny.  This week wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but it was hard.  Monday and Tuesday will be hard too, but I’m going to be kind to myself and just push forward until Wednesday.


Meals are easy ones this week.  With so much fresh produce, it’s so easy to eat healthy!  We did burgers on Sunday, and there were a few left over, so that’s dinner tonight (with fresh pickles from Mom and left0ver fruit salad, nom!).  Tuesday is pork chops with sweet potato fries and zucchini (I might do the pan frying method, it worked really well with the eggplant).  Wednesday night is eggplant pizzas and mojitos!  Thursday is salmon with kale.  Friday I think might be pasta with veggies.  I can’t think that far ahead just yet.


That’s the thing that sucks about Crohn’s.  I get so tired.  It’s like I have NO energy at all.  However, I’m doing little things to work on that.  Sleeping.  8 hours is a minimum, and that’s pretty non-negotiable.  Eating well.  No real sugar anymore; added sugar, that is.  You take my fruit from me over my cold, dead body.  And slowly adding in the exercise.  I’m making a vow now to wear my sneakers to work every day, so I can walk on lunch.  There’s  a guy at work who lost over 100 lbs just by walking.  He’s my hero.  I need to start doing that again.


What are you doing to stay healthy?

(health/personal) New week, new things to do

I lost a lot of last week, due to work stuff, and so my healthy lifestyle took a bit of a hit.  However, this is a marathon, not a sprint, so I’m back up on the horse.  We will NOT discuss this weekend, when I had Domino’s pizza (and not the gluten-free type either) two nights running.  Ugh.  At least I didn’t have any soda!  I resisted that!  Go me!


Today, after sleeping all day (investigations wear me out), I made my first attempt at eggplant pizza.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  I think (and Brian agrees) that this is how we’ll do pizza from now on.  He didn’t even miss the crust!  And it was sooooo good!  I think I know what I’m doing with that big zucchini in my fridge – “french bread” pizzas!  I have the lamb chops still in the fridge, so I think I’ll thaw those and make them as well.


I’m finding that you have to have a plan for the week, and it has to be flexible, or the entire eating thing goes to hell.  I have a few cookbooks about snacks and lunches that I need to read, so I can have some things ready to grab if I oversleep.   Luckily, I have a lot of eggs, and a lot of zucchini.  I think I’m making zucchini bread!  Or muffins. I have blueberries, too.  I foresee a lot of baking this week.


And exercise.  No swimming this week, but I plan on hitting the gym to walk/run on the treadmill two nights – right now, I’m planning on Tuesday and Thursday, but that may change (depending on the dump schedule).

(personal) Musings on birthdays and life

It’s my birthday today.  Today is the last time I will celebrate a birthday in my 30s – next year is the big 4-0.  I was talking to my new doctor on Thursday and you know, I don’t FEEL like I’m staring 40 in the face.  I don’t even feel 30.  I look at myself, and I don’t always recognize the person staring back at me, because to me, I’m still just fresh out of college.  Or worse, still IN college.  I feel like I should know things that I don’t.  I feel that I’m still learning.


And maybe that’s a good thing.  Maybe that’s why, in spite of a truly horrific weekend eating-wise, I’m still looking forward to my 5k race next Saturday.  I have yet to run 5k outside.  This will probably be my first time.  I haven’t looked at the course since, um, October, when I signed up for it.  But I’m still going to do it.


Why?  Because I want to.  I want to run outside.  I want to feel free.  I think I shall probably run after the Red Sox game, simply because I need to run.  Will it be a great run?  I don’t know yet.  But it’s warm and gorgeous and dammit, I need to be outside.


I’m going to write today too.  And work on the glorious new shrug that I’m making  – for me.  With yarn Mom and Dad got me for my birthday.  I’m hoping to have it done for tomorrow, so I can wear it to work.


This past week, when I was flaring?  It taught me that sometimes, it’s okay to slow down.  I don’t have to bull through things, or grit my teeth and pretend I’m fine.  I can have down days.  I can take time to just recover.


Sometimes, 300 words is all I will get.  (Especially after playing nearly 12 hours of WoW.  But hey, Level 62!!!)  Sometimes, I’ll get more.  I won’t write as fast as others do.  I write at my speed.  And I write well.  I run at my speed.  And I run.  Maybe not well, not yet, but I run.


I’m a work in progress.  The only thing that will stop that progress, besides death, is me.  I’m my own worst enemy sometimes.  And I have to remember that any progress, even just 300 words after a marathon WoW day, or a day spent sleeping off a Crohns flare, is progress.


Happy Birthday to me.

(goals/personal/health) Looking back over the year

Yes, I do actually post more than just Molly and Schrodinger on this blog! (Much to the chagrin of their fans)  And this year, I want to actually see what of my goals I did and did not achieve.


Looking back at my January 1, 2012 post, here are the goals.  My updates are in italics.


Now, to 2012.  I have goals.  And this year, this is what I will accomplish.  First, the writing goals:

1. Finish the untitled Dark Horseman Christmas story (which may become a novella, not sure). Yeah, I have no idea what this was going to be, but it didn’t happen.  At all.

2. Finish and sub the first Sapph novella. Nope.  Still working on it.

3. Write the rough draft of my Secret Project Novel. Also no. *sigh*

4. Finish the six-episode arc of Tales of the Scorned Lady. Got 3 episodes written.

5. Write the rough draft of The Strange Disappearance of Santa Claus. Nope.

6. Write 250 words of fiction every day. Sort of?  I call this one a draw.

7. Morning pages (over at every day. No.  I started strong and then sputtered.

So, what DID I get done in 2012 for writing?

1. I submitted a short story to the 2012 FM Anthology

2. I did another Advent Story.

3. I got the edits back on Last Rites.


Then, the health goals:

1. I will exercise 30 minutes every day, whether it be on the Wii or at the gym.  No excuses. I’m getting better at this. 

2. I will modify my lifestyle and the food I eat, without giving up all the foods I love. This I have done, and fairly successfully.

3. I will walk/run to Rivendell by the end of the year. I stopped tracking.

What did I accomplish healthwise?

1. I got back to running!  Yay, thank you, Ross!

2. I went mostly Gluten-Free.


Finally, the life goals:

1. I will declutter my house by December 31st, 2012. I’ve started.  It’s better than it was.

2. I will get my finances under control by June 30th, 2012. This DID happen.  And even the buying of a new car didn’t derail us.

3. I will enjoy life more in 2012. I think, all in all, that I did do this.

The last one is really important to me.  I don’t want to be just another drone – I want to live life, even if I live it on a budget.  Walks in the park cost nothing.  Reading in the sunshine costs nothing.  Sitting by a stream with a fishing pole and breathing in clean air costs nothing (don’t need a license if you don’t have hooks on your line!).


What did you accomplish in 2012?